The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), together with key government agencies and members of the private sector convened a consultation meeting to discuss the national strategy for financial inclusion (NSFI) last May 20, 2015 at the BSP Main Office in Manila.
BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. opened the first NSFI consultation meeting. He cited the importance of financial inclusion in effectively contributing to inclusive growth—one that provides jobs, reduces mass poverty and draws majority of the population into the economic and social mainstream—and underscored how a National Strategy can ensure coordinated efforts toward a shared objective.
The draft national strategy was prepared by an inter-agency committee convened by the BSP in 2014. The inter-agency committee is comprised of thirteen (13) agencies, namely Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Cooperative Development Authority, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Education, Department of Finance, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry, Insurance Commission, National Economic Development Authority, Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation, Philippine Statistics Authority, and Securities and Exchange Commission. These agencies are involved, either directly or indirectly, in promoting an inclusive financial system and serving unserved and underserved markets. Considering the importance of expanding access to financial services for all Filipinos, especially the unserved and underserved, the inter-agency committee recognized that it is ideal to create a platform where the public and private sector can cooperate and coordinate to make financial inclusion, and eventually, inclusive growth, a reality. The World Bank has noted that countries with financial inclusion strategies have more significant growth in financial inclusion than countries without one.
The consultation meeting subjected the draft to comments and inputs from a broad range of stakeholders from the public and private sector such as banks, cooperatives, civil society organizations, international development organizations, payment providers, and the academe, among others. The ultimate objective is to ensure that the NSFI is a product of collective and collaborative efforts.
The NSFI Regional consultations in Visayas and Mindanao will be held in Cebu on 26 May 2015 and in Davao on 29 May 2015.